It doesn’t matter if you are the parent, the babysitter or the grandparent of a new baby. If the baby will spend time at your home, you need to baby proof it. Babies like to scoot and crawl around, getting into just about anything within their reach. They chew on just about anything. In this article, we will look at some simple ways of keeping your baby safe from common home safety hazards.
Get down to a baby’s level and seek out potential breakable items and hazards a baby can get into. Think about sharp corners on coffee tables, on platform beds and on regular tables. Look at things near floor level, such as outlets and cords and things your child can pull down on himself, such as a bookcase. The furniture in the baby’s room should be completely safe for baby to be around.
Make sure that all breakable items are kept high up or behind locked cabinets. You may wish to pack away your breakables when baby is young. Use latches or safety locks on all drawers and cabinets and make sure that items which are dangerous, such as cleaning products or knives, are kept high enough so that baby cannot reach them. Medication should be kept up, even if they have childproof caps on them.
Make sure that the hot water heater temperature is less than 120 degrees and protect the knobs on stove burners with special covers that keep a baby from turning them on. Put handles of pots toward the back of stoves so that baby can’t pull them down on himself. Be wary of tablecloths where baby can pull down hot items off the table by pulling on the tablecloth. Be careful if you are drinking coffee or tea around a baby as it can be so easy for the baby to tip the cup over and get scalded.
Some people recommend putting electrical socket plugs on all unused sockets or buy special plates that protect baby from unused sockets, but according to some leading charities and government sources it is not considered necessary to use socket covers. Tape down all electrical cords or use cord shorteners so your little one doesn’t get tangled in the cords. Put furniture in front of as many outlets as possible.
Things like coffee tables and entertainment centers often have sharp edges a baby can get injured on. Use padding to cover those areas and use child safety gates to prevent the baby from getting into rooms he or she should stay out of. Make sure all carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are completely functional.
And please remember that education makes a big difference in your child’s actions so what you teach them is just as important as what you do to your house.